Chanting of the Te Deum, in in thanksgiving for the past year, followed by the Tantum Ergo, and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, at the conclusion of First Vespers of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, from St. Peter’s Basilica. Led by Pope Francis
Ako ay Kristiyano
- Ako ay Kristiyano
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Christmas invites us to focus on the sign of the Child and to recognize him in the faces of little children
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas!
In Bethlehem, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. He was born, not by the will of man, but by the gift of the love of God our Father, who “so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).
This event is renewed today in the Church, a pilgrim in time. For the faith of the Christian people relives in the Christmas liturgy the mystery of the God who comes, who assumes our mortal human flesh, and who becomes lowly and poor in order to save us. And this moves us deeply, for great is the tenderness of our Father.
The first people to see the humble glory of the Saviour, after Mary and Joseph, were the shepherds of Bethlehem. They recognized the sign proclaimed to them by the angels and adored the Child. Those humble and watchful men are an example for believers of every age who, before the mystery of Jesus, are not scandalized by his poverty. Rather, like Mary, they trust in God’s word and contemplate his glory with simple eyes. Before the mystery of the Word made flesh, Christians in every place confess with the words of the Evangelist John: “We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only-begotten Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14).
Today, as the winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline, Christmas invites us to focus on the sign of the Child and to recognize him in the faces of little children, especially those for whom, like Jesus, “there is no place in the inn” (Lk 2:7).
We see Jesus in the children of the Middle East who continue to suffer because of growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. On this festive day, let us ask the Lord for peace for Jerusalem and for all the Holy Land. Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two States within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders. May the Lord also sustain the efforts of all those in the international community inspired by good will to help that afflicted land to find, despite grave obstacles the harmony, justice and security that it has long awaited.
We see Jesus in the children of Africa, especially those who are suffering in South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Nigeria.
We see Jesus in the children worldwide wherever peace and security are threatened by the danger of tensions and new conflicts. Let us pray that confrontation may be overcome on the Korean peninsula and that mutual trust may increase in the interest of the world as a whole. To the Baby Jesus we entrust Venezuela that it may resume a serene dialogue among the various elements of society for the benefit of all the beloved Venezuelan people. We see Jesus in children who, together with their families, suffer from the violence of the conflict in Ukraine and its grave humanitarian repercussions; we pray that the Lord may soon grant peace to this dear country.
We see Jesus in the children of unemployed parents who struggle to offer their children a secure and peaceful future. And in those whose childhood has been robbed and who, from a very young age, have been forced to work or to be enrolled as soldiers by unscrupulous mercenaries.
We see Jesus in the many children forced to leave their countries to travel alone in inhuman conditions and who become an easy target for human traffickers. Through their eyes we see the drama of all those forced to emigrate and risk their lives to face exhausting journeys that end at times in tragedy. I see Jesus again in the children I met during my recent visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh, and it is my hope that the international community will not cease to work to ensure that the dignity of the minority groups present in the region is adequately protected. Jesus knows well the pain of not being welcomed and how hard it is not to have a place to lay one’s head. May our hearts not be closed as they were in the homes of Bethlehem.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The sign of Christmas has also been revealed to us: “a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes” (Lk 2:12). Like the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, like the shepherds of Bethlehem, may we welcome in the Baby Jesus the love of God made man for us. And may we commit ourselves, with the help of his grace, to making our world more human and more worthy for the children of today and of the future.
I offer a warm greeting to all of you, dear brothers and sisters from throughout the world gathered here in this Square, and to all those who in various countries are joined to us by radio, television and other communications media.
May the birth of Christ the Saviour renew hearts, awaken the desire to build a future of greater fraternity and solidarity, and bring joy and hope to everyone. Happy Christmas!
Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal is dead.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Cardinal Vidal. He has returned to the Father’s home at 7:28 a.m. today,” said Msgr. Joseph Tan, the spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Cebu.
Details of Vidal’s internment had yet to be discussed. “I ask the people to pray for his eternal repose,” Tan said.
Tan said he had no full details yet on Vidal’s cause of death.
“The doctors’ last bulletin was that he was in stable condition. But as it is, his heart may have given up due to his age,” he said.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma gave Vidal the Sacrament of Extreme Unction last Oct. 11, shortly after the 86-year-old cardinal went unconscious at the Perpetual Succour Hospital in Cebu City.
The sacrament is performed on a seriously ill person for spiritual and physical strength.
Vidal, the country’s most senior cardinal, was unconscious on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday.
He, however, showed positive signs on Friday morning when he began to open his eyes.
Vidal, who served as archbishop of Cebu for 29 years before he retired in 2011, was rushed by his nurse from his retirement house in Sto. Niño Village in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City to the Perpetual Succour Hospital past 2 a.m. last Wednesday, October 11, due to fever and shortness of breath.
Since 2014, Vidal has been going in and out of the hospital due to pneumonia.
In 2004, Vidal underwent a coronary angiogram procedure, an examination of the heart and blood vessels, and had a pacemaker installed to normalize his heart beat.
On Sept. 23, 2013, Vidal was rushed to the hospital after a mild stroke.
The native of Mogpog in Marinduque chose to spend his retirement years in Cebu where he continues to preside over Masses and attend special events in the country’s biggest archdiocese.
SOURCE: CATHOLIC HERALD
The president’s war on drugs is clearly illegal. The Church has to take a stand
The War on Drugs, presently being fought in the Philippines by President Duterte and his death squads, has now entered a new phase, as the New York Times reports. The Church has offered to give sanctuary and protection to those police officers who wish to act as whistle-blowers, and who have evidence of illegal actions by their colleagues.
As the chairman of the Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, explains in a pastoral letter: “Law enforcers have come forward confidentially to us, their spiritual leaders, to seek sanctuary, succour and protection. They have expressed their desire to come out in the open about their participation in extrajudicial killings and summary executions. Their consciences are troubling them.”
Quite a lot is at stake in this matter. Here are a few observations.
First of all, the government, in embarking on a clearly illegal course of action, has issued a challenge to the credibility of the Church. If the Church were to say nothing about this, then it really could not claim to be an evangelical witness on this or indeed any other matter. The Church has to speak out, or be seen to fail. One cannot watch a spate of extrajudicial killings and summary executions (including that of several children) and say nothing. So, the current pastoral letter and the intervention it represents is not just the correct thing for the Church to do, it is the only thing or the Church to do.
As the New York Times reports, the Church is a powerful body in the Philippines, and has a history of taking on dysfunctional governments and winning. Again, this is an important role for the Church, and one it must fulfil in all countries were governments are chronically inefficient and corrupt and where civil society is weak. This too is part of the mission of the Church and its proclamation that a better society is possible.
The fact that the police are beginning to see the folly of Duterte’s war on drugs is highly significant. They are the ones who have to put the strategy, if it can be called that, into action. They must be aware of the potential for blowback. Not only do they risk being the targets of the drug gangs, they also risk, if indeed have not already lost, the confidence of the public. Their credibility as upholders of legality is already severely compromised. Hence the desire by some of them to reverse the current policy. It is hard to see how the President can continue in his war if he does not have the backing of the police. And if his much-vaunted war on drugs fails, what then?
Finally, all Catholics need to reflect. We are against drug taking, but is Duterte’s way the best way to minimise the harm done by drugs? Faced with the damage caused by drugs, should we turn to the moral evil of extrajudicial killings in order to overcome it? Or should we try something new? There must be a better way of dealing with this scourge. We could perhaps learn from the way we have dealt with tobacco and alcohol, where the attempt to minimise the harms done by both has been remarkably successful, without resorting to outlawing consumption or adopting illegal means to fight them.
Meanwhile, the Filipino bishops are to be commended for standing up for the rule of law, and for trying their best to support those who wish to bring the current anarchy in the Philippines to an end.
MANILA – Alden Richards, one of the most recognizable faces in Philippine show business today, gave a personal testimony on July 28 at the 2017 Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE), revealing how instrumental his faith is to his career.
“My faith is one of the things that keeps me grounded, that keeps me sane. Faith is a way of life … [It’s] my purpose of living,” said the celebrity during a talk-show type session with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.
Talking to an estimated 6,000 delegates from all over the Philippines, Richards, an actor said he would have left the limelight a long time ago if not for his Catholic faith, saying, however, that his faith was not so strong to begin with.
“Since I started showbiz..my faith was scattered. I believed in the Lord, I believed in Catholicism.. I believe in the Catholic Church, but [it] was not that strong,” he shared, noting that it was the fleeting nature of the industry that pushed him to hold on to something unchanging.
“I met so many people, I experienced so much.. The showbiz industry, it’s in and out. You get famous quickly, you also fade away quickly. Maybe it’s faith that really keeps you where you are,” he shared in Filipino. “Slowly I discovered the power of faith in the Lord… and in Mama Mary,” explained Richards, who shot to stardom after starring in Eat Bulaga’s “Kalyeserye” with Maine Mendoza.
He also shared how he has made it his personal advocacy to help give indigenous peoples (IPs) better access to education, after organizing an outreach project with the Aetas of Bamban, Tarlac on his birthday in 2015.
Education for IPs
“It [was] an off road trip. You need a heavy duty vehicle. We went there, we gave out some supplies. What I really noticed is the need for education, especially for IPs,” explained Richards, who, together with other Kalyeserye stars and producers, was awarded the 1st Catholic Social Media Awards in 2015.
Homelessness, he said, is “one of the biggest problems in our country.”
Carrying the theme “Of One Heart and Soul”, the 4th PCNE is a three-day event to mark the Church in the Philippines’ celebration of the Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities.
SOURCE: GMA NEWS
A graduate of Saint Louis University topped the list of over 1,400 passers in the recently held Architect Licensure Examination, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) said Wednesday.
Jefferson Sabiano Ventura scored 84.70 in the exam held in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cebu, Davao and Legazpi last June 23 and 25, the PRC said. A total of 1,490 out of 2,679 examinees passed the exam.
Placing second was Aldous Yabut Olbes of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng
Maynila with 84.30, followed by Judy Ann Dela Cruz Larin of Bulacan State University-Malolos with 82.90; and Marion Lyndon Tega Demaisip of University Of Mindanao-Davao City with 82.80.
The rest of the Top 10 are as follows:
5. Danielin Tesaluna Dico of University Of San Carlos, George Alcantara Mañapao Jr. of University of San Carlos, Patrick Cruz Pantillano of Technological University of the
Philippines-Manila, all with 82.60
6. Charisse Jheline Cruda Ang of Ateneo de Davao University and Levy Santos Canaleta of Saint Louis University, with 82.50
7. Carmela Dawn Linarez of University Of Santo Tomas with 82.40
8. John Vergel Valdez Navarette of Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University and Ria Angelica Catimbang Zamudio of De La Salle University-College Of
Saint Benilde with 82.30
9. Rod Kevin Calaguan Gonzales of University Of The Philippines-Diliman with 82.10
10. Ayana Isabel Adriano Kasilag of University Of The Philippines-Diliman and Felix Angel Fermin Pascua of University Of La Salette-Santiago with 82.00
The PRC said registration for the issuance of Professional Identification Card (ID) and Certificate of Registration will be done online from July 10 to July 14, 2017. —
SOURCE: ABS-CBN News
Bibigyan ng isang linggo ang mga driver ng pampubliko at pribadong sasakyan na tanggalin ang anumang abubot sa kanilang dashboard at windshield, ayon sa Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) nitong Biyernes.
Maraming motorista ang nagtanong tungkol sa tinatawag na “line of sight” sa ilalim ng Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA) dahil bawal ito maharangan ng hands-free devices tulad ng smartphone para sa paggamit ng navigational apps.
Paano naman daw ang iba’t ibang accessories na nakapatong sa dashboard o nakasabit sa windshield? Hindi naman mga gadget ito pero nakakaharang pa rin.
Ayon kay Aileen Lizada, board member ng LTFRB, mayroon nang batas na nagbabawal sa mga ito: ang Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01.
Sa ilalim nito, bawal ang “defective and unauthorized accessories” na maaaring “prejudicial to road safety” — at ayon kay Lizada, kasama rito ang popular na bobbing head dogs, kumakaway na laruang pusa, at iba pang display sa taas ng dashboard, pati na kurtina sa windshield. Pati ang nakasabit na rosaryo sa rearview mirror ay bawal.
Sa Mayo 26, dapat ay natanggal na ang mga ito, private o public utility vehicle man ang minamaneho mo, kundi ay pagmumultahin ka ng P5,000.
Kabilang diyan ang mga jeep na tadtad ng signages ng ruta ang windshield.
Ayon kay Lizada, dapat tanggalin na rin ang mga ito. Dapat naman daw talaga ay sa gilid ng jeep at hindi sa windshield nakasaad ang signages.
Lilinawin ang mga patakaran sa ilalabas na memorandum circular ng LTFRB bago Mayo 26.
Pagdating naman sa mga driver na may ibang pinaggagamitan ng kamay maliban sa pagmamaneho, paglabag din ito sa JAO 2014-01. Halimbawa ni Lizada ang mga nagme-makeup habang magmamaneho o umiinom ng kape.
Pasok ang mga ito sa “reckless driving” na probisyon ng JAO at may katumbas na multang P2,000 hanggang P10,000 at maaari ring mabawian lisensya.
Nilinaw ang mga ito sa meeting ng mga transport agencies ukol sa ipinatupad na ADDA.
Unang nagdulot ng kalituhan sa publiko at maging sa mga nagpapatupad ng batas ang ADDA at ang Children’s Safety on Motorcycles Act.
Sa pulong nitong Biyernes, inamin ni Lizada na napag-usapan na suspindihin muna ang dalawang batas dahil sa kalituhan at kakulangan ng information drive.
Pero sa huli, nagdesisyon silang ituloy na lang ang pagpapatupad ng mga ito.
The apparition of an angel and Our Lady to three poor children in Fatima, Portugal in the early 20th century is one of the most famous miracles in the Catholic world.
The children received many messages, mostly calling for personal conversion and prayer, as well as the words of 5 new prayers.
The first prayer is one many Catholics are likely already familiar with, but the other 4 are not as well-known.
Here are the 5 prayers given to the children at Fatima:
1) The Fatima Prayer/Decade Prayer
“O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen.”
Mary told the children that people should add this prayer to the end of each decade of the Rosary.
2) The Pardon Prayer
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I beg pardon for all those that do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.”
This prayer was given to the children by the angel that visited them in 1916, the year before Mary appeared to them.
3) The Angel’s Prayer
“O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners.”
This is another prayer given to them by the angel. There was a Eucharistic host and chalice suspended in the air, and the angel led them in kneeling before it and praying this prayer.
4) The Eucharistic Prayer
“Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament.”
When Mary appeared to the children for the first time on May 13, 1917, she said, “You will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.” According to Lucia, one of the children, a bright light shone all around them, and without thinking about it, they all started reciting this prayer.
5) The Sacrifice Prayer
“O Jesus, it is for the love of Thee, in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of poor sinners [that I do this].”
Mary gave the children this prayer, as well as the Fatima Prayer/Decade Prayer, on June 13th, 1917. The prayer is meant to be recited when you are offering up suffering to God.
So get praying!
CEBU CITY—Believing in the power of prayer paid off for Karen Mae Calam .Calam, 28, has realized how powerful prayer is after she topped the 2016 Bar Exams
“The results were so unexpected. I never thought my prayers would be answered. The power of prayer is unbelievable,” she said.
Before she took the exams, she visited the Basilica del Santo Niño and other churches. She said she prayed every night before and after she took the exams.
With a grade of 89.05 percent, Karen Mae Calam bested 3,747 passers of the exams held last November at the University of Sto. Tomas.
A total of 6,344 graduates took the Bars, pegging the passing rate at 59.06 percent, according to Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, Jr.
The passing rate was the “highest passing percentage in the history of bar exam since 1946.
Siliman University’s Alana Gayle Ashley Khio followed Calam on the top 10 list with an 88.95 percent average. Ranking third were Fiona Cristy Lao from the University of San Carlos and Athalla Liong from Andres Bonifacio College, both with a score of 88.800 percent.
Completing the top 10 Bar passers were:
4- Allana Mae A. Babayen-on, University of San Agustin – 88.75%
5- Justin Ryan D. Morilla, Ateneo de Davao – 88.40%
6. Mark Dave M. Camarao, Northwestern University – 88.10 %
7. Anne Margaret E. Momongan, University of San Carlos – 87.80%
8. Jefferson L. Gomez, University of San Carlos – 87.70%
9. Nia Rachelle M. Gonzales, University of Batangas – 87.50%
Marie Chielo M. Ybio, Silliman University – 87.50%
10. Andrew Stephen D. Liu, Silliman University – 87.45%
The Bar covers 8 subjects, namely Political Law, Labor Law, Civil Law, Taxation, Mercantile Law, Criminal Law, Remedial Law, and Legal and Judicial Ethics.